Mozambique: Over 40 Per Cent of Senior Officials Failed to Declare Assets

Failed to Declare Assets

Maputo — Less than 60 per cent of the senior state officials who should deposit declarations of their assets and income, under Mozambique’s Law on Public Probity, did so in 2015, according to Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili.

The declarations should be deposited with the Attorney-General’s Office or in the provincial attorney’s offices, while attorneys themselves deposit their declarations with the Administrative Tribunal.

Giving her annual report on the state of justice to the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, Buchili said that her office, and the provincial offices, should have received 6,170 declarations – but only 3,583 of the officials covered (58 per cent) delivered their declarations, and 951 of these did so later than the legal deadline.

Of the main bodies covered only the central government complied with the legal requirement in full. All ministers and deputy ministers deposited their declarations on time.

In contrast, most members of the Assembly, the body which passed the law, failed to declare their assets on time. Buchili said that 96 of the 250 parliamentarians deposited their declarations before the deadline, 57 after the deadline, while 97 (39 per cent) did not deposit anything at all, and are thus in total breach of the law.

Perhaps even worse, one third of the country’s senior judges, supposedly the guardians of the law, failed to make any declaration. There are 30 judges on the Supreme Court, the Administrative Tribunal, and the Constitutional Council. Only 20 of them deposited their declarations, while the other ten have yet to declare their property.

The attorneys themselves did rather better. There are 382 attorneys, 288 of whom (75.4 per cent) deposited their declarations with the Administrative Tribunal, albeit nine of them did so beyond the deadline. That leaves 94 who have not yet declared at all.

Buchili warned that actions are under way to ensure that all those who have an obligation to declare their assets will be held responsible.

The Central Office for the Fight against Corruption (GCCC), which is a specialized department under the Attorney-General’s Office, processed 1,051 cases in 2015, compared with 906 in 2014. Charges were brought in 437 cases, compared with 239 in 2014.

In 62 cases, the GCCC declined to press charges. 93 cases were declared outside the remit of the GCCC and were referred to the provincial attorneys’ offices. 82 cases were shelved since there was no evidence that a crime had been committed. The other cases remain pending.

During the investigations, Buchili added, 25.5 million meticais (about 425,000 US dollars, at current exchange rates), stolen from state coffers, was recovered.

source: allafrica
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